[tor-talk] Idea for a stand-alone browser based on Tor browser source code

Matthew Finkel sysrqb at torproject.org
Thu Jul 9 21:40:28 UTC 2020

On Tue, Jul 07, 2020 at 12:12:55PM -0700, joel04g_t535e at secmail.pro wrote:
> Tor browser has good defense against many tracking techniques, however,
> internet users may want a way to browse the web without anonymity but with
> some of the great features Tor browser provides. (Security Level,
> Noscript, Isolate trackers, Anti Fingerprinting, etc)
> Some reasons users may want a browser like this include:
> ~Accessing websites that don't like Tor users
> ~Streaming without latency
> ~Doing online banking (Tor could create suspicion of a possible hack
> attempt and block or hassle users)
> ~An easy and hassle free browser for users who really don't like latency
> or with bad internet
> I believe a stand-alone browser with onion routing removed but based on
> the same code Tor browser uses could be useful to many internet users. I'd
> love to hear everyone's thoughts on this!

While this may be useful for some people, The Tor Project has no plans
for providing such a browser. All of the above reasons for using Tor
Browser without Tor are real usability issues we need to address and
resolve. This includes trade-offs between privacy and performance.

The simple fact is that if you want to use a browser that provides the
privacy and security protections of Tor Browser, then you need to use
Tor Browser. You can't use Tor Browser without Tor and get sufficient
privacy protections. Network-level security is the most important
attribute of Tor Browser. Without tor, you are trackable by your IP
address, cache isolation won't save you.

Tor Browser without Tor is just...Browser (basically Firefox in private
browsing mode). If that is really want you want, then I suggest you look
at ghacks-user.js [0] for modifying a Firefox installation. The
maintainers are excellent. Jeremy's pointer to SecBrowser seems like an
option, too (but make sure you understand what you're getting before you
trust it).

[0] https://github.com/ghacksuserjs/ghacks-user.js/

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